This is something that I hear fairly often. I hear it in my real world job of teaching adolescents. “You don’t know me. You don’t understand where I’m coming from.” It’s a fairly common adolescent attitude-the belief that they are singular beings in the universe and that no one (parents, teachers, friends) could ever understand how they feel. And yet, somehow, in the midst of that belief, they also believe that certain artists (lyricists, writers, painters etc) do get them. Those distant abstract people GET them. It’s just those of us who are real and tangible to them who don’t get them.
It’s also something that I’m seeing more and more in the blogosphere and in comments on blogs. “You don’t know me. You only read my blog. You don’t see my real life.” I suppose that’s fair enough. If you’re reading my blog, you don’t know what I had for dinner tonight. You don’t know what books are piled up on my bookshelves waiting for me to put the laptop and the lesson planning away so I can read something fun. You don’t know what I did after work today. You only read my blog. You only see what I let you see.
And there’s the proverbial rub. I control the content of this blog. I give you all the information you have about me. You know that I knit. You know that I’m a teacher, that I love to read, that I drink coffee and tea, that I love Jesus, that I tend to rant and ramble. That’s what I let you see. I don’t tell you about all of my minute conversations that I have in the course of my day. I only give you a partial picture of myself, not the whole thing.
And that’s fine. I don’t want to give you all of that information. You don’t really need it. But if you make a snap judgment about me based only on the content of my blog, I can’t fault you for that. Well, okay, I suppose that I could, but I shouldn’t. I haven’t given you all of the information about me.
As human beings, we only have a limited amount of access to one another. We don’t know everything about one another. And this can lead to us making mistakes. We can say or do the wrong thing without knowing the hurt that we are causing one another. We make mistakes. We’re fallible.
So yes, it hurts when someone judges us and we feel that the judgment is incorrect. But we need to recognize that we don’t all have unlimited access to each other’s lives. We don’t all know what struggles others are fighting. So instead of snapping back in anger (something that I am quite guilty of in my own life) please take a moment to take a breath. And be kind to others. We may not know you, but each of us ought to treat one another with kindness and decency.